My first time noticing 洛匠Rakushou was during the 東山花灯路Higashiyama Hana Touro 2007 when their beautiful garden was lit up. Everyone seemed to be taking pictures through the fence like I did:
When Gillian and Barron came to visit Laurel in late June of this year, I thought Rakushou would be a good Japanese sweets experience for everyone when we went to the Kiyomizu area. Rakushou located on ねねの道Nene no Michi on the way to 高台寺Kodai-ji has been written about in many a magazine for its famous warabi mochi, especially the kusa-warabi mochi (its green color comes from Uji green tea), which is known for its smooth texture despite the passing of time.
Instead of being led through the entrance of the café, we were allowed to enter the tatami room in the back through the garden…I was excited to finally see the carp pond up close.
the 錦鯉nishiki koi (colored carp) that has won various prizes for exemplary carps…the owner is also quite famous for raising some lost ducks that wandered by in the past.
the view of the back of the garden from the room
the view of the café from the back (picture courtesy of Gillian)
the view from the front to the back
It took everyone some time to decide but we were waiting for Halka to catch up to us anyway (she was coming from Kameoka which meant depending on train and bus while we were in the city having been to Heian Shrine earlier). A group of junior high boys, probably on a trip to Kyoto from elsewhere, came in after we had settled in. They all ordered the kusa-warabi mochi; I asked one of the boys who was sitting close to me how it was and he said that it was delicious.☺
Gillian got the recommended 抹茶と草わらび餅セットmaccha to kusa-warabi mochi setto (“grass” warabi mochi set, the picture is from her collection), ￥900,
while Laurel opted for the regular warabi mochi and アイスコーヒーaisu koohii (iced coffee), ￥450.
Barron got the 抹茶サンデーmaccha sandee (green tea sundae), ￥950; unfortunately, I failed to get a picture of it before he dug in. Halka got the クリームあんみつkuriimu anmitsu (anmitsu with ice cream), ￥850,
and I made do with the あんみつanmitsu, ￥750.
My anmitsu was good but quite filling; I knew that I wouldn’t be able to finish it, so the generous friend that Laurel is, she offered to finish if for me while I took the warabi mochi that she had left…the warabi mochi was as smooth as the reviews have said and just the right amount of sweetness and although I was full, I was able to finish it. I’ll probably have that the next time that I go.